Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Icarus' first birthday is coming up, and we don't even live in this space anymore, so clearly it's a good time to share his bedroom! When I was pregnant, we knew we would be selling our flat at some point during his first year, but it was still important for me to create a special space for him - not because I wanted somewhere instagram-worthy, and not even for the baby, who wouldn't remember it, but because, in my head, this will always be his first bedroom. This cosy little box room used to be painted navy, and the only full-on hormonal meltdown I had during my whole pregnancy was when Darren said, 'it's just a room, he's not even going to remember it, let's just keep it how it is.' And I went nuts and said I cared about it more than our wedding! Ha!


Thursday, 18 January 2018
In the last month or so we've managed to get the baby into a predictable nap routine, which means time to actually make and enjoy breakfast and lunch every day. Food styling and getting my big camera out aren't really a possibility/priority, but I'm so happy to have the time to indulge my cravings and not just rely on toast and tea.


Monday, 18 December 2017

And so it's the week before Christmas! Being on maternity leave feels like being in a tiny babyproof bubble and even though we have our Christmas tree up and I've made Christmas cake with my brother and mum, I'm definitely missing the festive cheer that comes with being in an office. Besides the Secret Santa gifts, Christmas parties and endless boxes of Quality Street, simply being around lots of people every day in December means conversation naturally turns to Christmas more often than not. I keep telling myself that I'm going to do something Christmassy to get me in the holiday spirit, and now with only a week to go I better get cracking! And hitting publish on this blog post will hopefully help me stick to it.


Thursday, 7 December 2017
The idea of doing any sort of DIY with a clingy appendage in the form of a 3-month-old baby in tow is highly amusing, but I really felt like using my brain for something other than remembering what time I last fed the baby today, so here is a blog post with a back story.

I'm not some impressive mum launching into a new kitchen table venture a mere 9 weeks after giving birth...these candles were in fact made this time last year for a client who didn't end up using them. Which is fine by me because it means I have something shiny and new to post on my blog.

Made with layers of used up coffee grounds, these candles make beautiful, thoughtful gifts and they were actually a lot easier than I expected, with all of the 'ingredients' recycled from around the house. Cheaper than buying wax granules to melt, I scavenged leftover wax from around the house; wax left in other candle jars, partially used tea lights from one too many IKEA hauls and a handful of tapered candles I've never used because I don't have candlesticks. The used coffee grounds give a slight aroma when you burn the candles and the jars were a mismatch - my favourite to use are the little ones leftover from Glenilen Farm yoghurts (available at Waitrose).

1. Collect leftover wax in a heatproof glass jug and place the jug in a small saucepan of water. Bring the water to the boil and the wax will melt to liquid in a few minutes. For any wax left in glass jars, place in a jug of boiled water for a few minutes and the wax should pop out of the bottom.

2. Meanwhile, place a wick (available from craft shops/eBay) in an empty glass jar - buy readymade wicks with a weighted metal tip, which can be glued into the bottom of the jar. My wicks actually came from the tapered candle; I bashed up the candles and the wick pulled out fairly easily.

3. Wrap the long end of the wick around a pencil placed across the top of the jar and carefully pour in a layer of melted wax.

4. To create a layered effect, refrigerate for five to 10 minutes to harden, then add a teaspoon of coffee grounds.

5. Pour over another layer of melted wax and repeat until you have filled the jar. If the wax in your jug sets, you can repeat the boiling process to re-melt as many times as you need.

6. Once fully hardened, trim the wick to your desired length.


Thursday, 21 September 2017

Dr. Oetker got in touch just before I stopped working to ask if I'd like to try their new range of Bake In Box cakes. A cake mix is something I would always steer clear of, as I just don't think they taste as good as the real thing made with fresh eggs and butter, but who am I to say no to free cake? And, considering I'm going to be quite short of time in the near future, the appeal of a cake mix that requires next to no washing up is riding high at the moment.


Saturday, 16 September 2017

Despite sporting a pretty sizeable bump now (these photos were taken at 35 weeks!), I'm still not sure it's sunk in that we could have a baby any day now...will I feel like this for the rest of my life - I can't believe I have a 2 year old/another baby/etc. My friend Jo, who shot our wedding photos (this time last  year!!), was staying with us for the weekend so we nipped out to Tooting Common with the dog to take a few maternity photos. It took a little while to get into having my picture taken - especially with other dog walkers lurking around! - but having the dog there really helped things feel a lot more natural and for 10 minutes of feeling awkward, I have beautiful pictures to remember this time for the rest of my life. NB Baki appears to be looking adoringly at my bump, but in reality he is waiting for me to throw his ball, luckily hidden by the long grass!


Friday, 1 September 2017

I'm a big fan of quick and easy recipes and leftovers often make their way into an off-the-cuff version of eggs for breakfast. A few scraps that aren't much use for anything else suddenly become a whole meal when you look at them in a different light! These Mexican-ish eggs are actually a 'third generation' meal; Darren made spaghetti bolognese at the weekend, I took leftovers for lunch on Monday, on Tuesday we added spices, made a quick tomato salad, shredded lettuce and grated cheese for quick burrito bowls and voila, Thursday morning I made this out of what was left of the burrito bowl accompaniments. Hardly a recipe, but hope it inspires you to add a little something different to your usual breakfast.


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing about how much pregnancy stuff to put on the blog and, especially, how to make it food-related, but I've come to the conclusion that the pregnancy things I've enjoyed reading the most are by people I already know through social media and blogging. That personal angle is so much more important to me than what can be found in a book, and I've really relied more on word of mouth than anything else throughout many aspects of my pregnancy. With that in mind, this reading list is somewhat short and sweet, but I hope anyone with a baby on the way or who is just interested finds this list useful. I should note here, the list of actual books is short, but my descriptions are quite lengthy!